BHTC TWO DAY KALASHNIKOV RIFLE – COURSE BREAKDOWN
It’s apparent beyond dispute that the Kalashnikov rifle is the most successful combat rifle ever developed. What isn’t so apparent however is why this rifle isn’t studied more than it is, given that you have about a 15:1 chance of encountering one than any other firearm around the globe. It is a fantastic rifle platform, and I have enjoyed studying and learning about it since 1987 when I bought my very first one.
This was not the first Kalashnikov course we ran by any means, but it was the first two day course we put together. We were able to take a closer look at some of the fundamental concepts, and also expand into other areas such as ground movement and some retention/disarm basics.
The course began with a review of the students rifles. It’s always a good idea to take a look at what people are working with. We can spot problems before we get on the firing line, and we are able to counsel on adjustments with more specific effect.
We also went over the many uses of the buttstock tool kit that comes with most Kalashnikov rifles.
The course had a main thread in it – running the rifle the way it was designed – not shoehorning AR-15 specific tactics into a rifle that was never designed to be deployed that way. This included how it is carried and why, the role of the sling on a Kalashnikov, and a brief demo of how leverage applied certain places with a Kalashnikov rifle would allow someone to easily divest an attacker of one.
How to zero the Kalashnikov rifle and where & why were covered with a lot of good questions from the students. It was time to put theory into practice. Out to the range. A review of BRM fundamentals is always a great reminder when you’re zeroing, so this was covered along with the elements of a good prone position.
Students worked on drills that center around manipulating the safety the way the Russians do it. Deploying it from a retention based carry position becomes easy once you embrace the philosophy that the rifle was designed around.
We went right into the meat and potatoes, dispelling the “Kalashnikov’s are not accurate enough” BS that is out there. The drill:
Neutralize an MGM triple dropper, then hit a .25 size IDPA popper.
Repeat that on the other side of the range, adding in a BNZ target (IDPA octagon & head).
Come back and hit a 5″ popper to finish the drill.
At the end of the drill I asked them all – “How hard was this drill?”
Would you say it would have been hard with any rifle?
And yet you completed it with a Kalashnikov. Wow – how bout that….
So it started sinking in that hits are hits, and group size doesn’t matter so much in matters of practical accuracy.
The Instructor shot this, and all of the other drills as well.
Instructors (well, the good ones) are constantly learning from their students. One of the things that to me was a fresh look at things was the variety of optics and mounting solutions employed in the course. There were a LOT of fantastic options displayed. There are so many credible options available now for mounting an optic to a Kalashnikov rifle. Many more than even a couple years ago.
I went shopping after the course and found some really great ways to change some of my favorite Kalashnikovs around to make them more effective.
Unless required for a course, my default practical competition rifle for the 2014 shooting season will be a Kalashnikov.